Friday, December 31, 2010


Preservatives are needed in products to prolong shelf-life and taste. They also prevent botulism, mold, and bacteria, which protects us from illness. Unfortunately, preservatives can also cause cancers, hyperactivity, nervous system damage, and other problems. Many studies give massive amounts of preservatives in animal studies, and preservatives are typically only found in small amount in commercial products. However, I feel it safe to say that we do not know how much it takes to cause damage. How much is safe?

Sodium Benozate—can cause damage in the cell mitochondria, leading to neurodegenerative diseases. It has been linked to hyperactivity as well. Use of nitrates is highly restricted in some countries.

Sodium nitrate—has been linked to pancreatic and lung cancers, according to a study done by the US National Toxicology Program. Sodium nitrate used as a curing agent in many packaged meats.

Propyl gallate—can cause prostate inflammation and tumors of the thyroid, brain, and pancrease. It is used as a stabilizer in packaged meats, dried milk, candy, potato chips, and baked goods. It is also found in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Potassium bromate—has been found to cause cancerous kidney and thyroid tumors in rats. It has been banned in Britain and Canada as a carcinogen. It is often used by bread companies to strengthen the bread dough.

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Sulphur dioxide and sulfites—destroy vitamin B1, are linked to hyperactivity, and can cause severe reactions such as in asthmatics. Sulfites often cause headache, and have caused at least 12 known deaths. Sulphur dioxide is derived from coal tar. It is found in alcoholic, fruit, and soft drinks, as well as dried fruits and vegetables. Almost all wines contain sulfites.

BHA and BHT—have characteristics making them carcinogenic and can cause tumors. Adverse reactions are common. BHT is banned in Japan, Romania, Sweden, and Australia. BHA is banned in Japan, too. Both are derived from petroleum. These are considered two of the most dangerous preservatives. They are used in fats and oils so they are found in snacks, cereals, instant spuds, soft drinks, and margarine.

Sodium citrate—can cause bladder tumors in very large amounts. It is used in meat and baby food and personal care products.

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